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In honor of Dennis Ritchie, 50% off all C/C++ ebooks (oreilly.com)
102 points by j_baker 2097 days ago | hide | past | web | 39 comments | favorite

I would be far more impressed and gratified if Prentice Hall were cool enough to offer Kernighan & Ritchie's classic "C Programming Language" (2nd Edition) at 1/2 off their $57.99 sticker-shock price.


I don't even want to think about the cost of this book right now. I recently cleaned out a huge pile of old computer books, stacking them into "keep" and "trash". My copy of K&R is currently missing. Odds are pretty decent that it's floating in a slurry of paper pulp.

With any luck I loaned it out and forgot about it. I'll still never see it again, but at least it's still doing something useful.

I'm on my second one too now. I loaned it a while back to someone and never got it back. In a way I feel good about that. Someone is now a better programmer because of that :) And they obviously liked it enough to keep it.

You can pick up the first edition for a dollar or two. The second doesn't have any groundbreaking information that I'm aware of.

Better yet, you can just grab a pirated PDF copy.

I saw a copy of this at my local Borders for about $25 during their final sale. Sadly I made the mistake of not purchasing it because I was already in the process of learning a few other languages. I figured the price on Amazon would probably be about the same. I was mistaken.

Has this book always been so expensive? I don't remember paying that much for my copy. That was ten years ago though so maybe I'm just getting old :)

You can probably find it for significantly cheaper (i.e. <$10) on cheap, fluorescent-looking paper imported from overseas.

Yup, that's where I got mine a year or so ago. Then, a week later, I found the 1st edition at a thrift shop for a buck.

The quality of the domestic version is so much better, but not $50 better. The price of a legit copy is shameful.

Isn't a bit distasteful to use the occasion of someone's death to sell books?

If this prompts more people to discover Ritchie's work then I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing.

Especially that the offer does not seem particularly good since they are only ebooks and seem overpriced in the first place. The physical books are already cheaper on Amazon and kindle versions cheaper still.

Edit: Just had a thought that any profit on these sales should really go to a charity or foundation.

Little know trick (I don't use it) that O'reilly himself probably frowns upon but doesn't discourage is that if you regitster a physical book with the ISBN you can get the ebook for 5 bucks. You only need the ISBN for this. O'Reilly has said many times he prefers that as many people as possible read the books. And hopefully enough will pay for them to make them viable. (Please correct me if I'm wrong on his belief about this).

I remember O'Reilly himself saying that the pricing on Ebooks was currently an experiment and they are trying to figure out what is best. That's why, in my opinion, they do eboook deals every day.

I love O'Reilly's books. I discovered the $5 ebook upgrade, and plowed through registering and upgrading all 30-off books that I've accumulated over the past 20 years. Then I bought a few since then on their daily deal.

But the real kicker was I suddenly had a coupon code that lasted for about 2 weeks that was for $5 for any new ebook. I blew about $200 that pay period, so now I've got enough reading material for half a life-time.

I so wish Amazon would loosen up on their Kindle DRM. I've only purchased a few titled, and my Kindle is pretty much am O'reilly Reader these days.

I really wish the cost of the ebooks was in the $5 range for most titles (O'Reilly or not). At that price, I'd purchase so many tech books on impulse, I'd probably never get around to reading most of them, but rather to have them for reference.

Would you mind giving more details on where one could register the ISBN, do you have a link ?


You need to register a Oreilly.com account. Once you do that you should be able under Your Products and then Print Books to upgrade them to Ebooks for 4.99.

It's a crazy good deal. I've also seen people just buy the book off the Android app store and export the epub out of the app. I think the Adiko book app will do that for you.

Manning has a 45% sale off everything, if you use code "halloweekend45". They sell Clojure, Erlang and other books. We can pretend it's a McCarthy Day celebration. :)

> Edit: Just had a thought that any profit on these sales should really go to a charity or foundation.

They're eBooks so the margins are pretty high.

I think it would have been nice if they'd offered a deep discount on paper books on this occasion.

O'Reilly's ebooks are DRM-free. Kindle version is not.

You can easily remove the Kindle DRM using Calibre and some plugins.

I choose not to reward publishers of DRMed works with my money. If some of the open-format stuff is too pricey, well, there's plenty to read off in the free world anyway.

Not necessarily, and not in this case.

Hucksters are opportunists.

What, if any of these, make sense to a mid-level C developer: read K&R inside and out, had a bit of code in the kernel, worked on a major "C+", i.e., "C with classes" project?

The only one of these I own are "Mastering Algorithms with C" (fairly useful) and "Understanding the Linux Kernel" (rather useful and well written, could actually be used for an graduate/advanced undergraduate operating systems class).

It's not only C/C++ but also books about vim, git, linux kernel, shells, etc.

I highly recommend "The Linux Programming Interface". It's one of the best book out there.


Shouldn't they make Lisp books cheaper in honor of John McCarthy as well?

Its a shame they dont sell the most useful C book of them all.

Is K&R available as an eBook somewhere? I'd even gladly pay the shocking $50+ for an eBook version just so I don't have to lug the dead tree around.

Which, if any, of these books are worth buying?

Don't bother with any of these until you're read K&R.

I'm wanting to learn C++. Is it still worth it to start off with K&R? Obviously I would probably go through K&R later, but it might be better to start off with something more relevant.

If you're already a programmer, I'd recommend this book: http://www.acceleratedcpp.com/ It shares some of the same qualities of K&R (short, concise) but is specific to C++, is a good book in general, and won't swamp you.


Practical C Programming was my introduction text into the world of programming and I found it to be very good. K&R is also a great book if you want to start C

I hope this becomes an annual event.

a very nice gesture!


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